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Hi guys ,

Probably a real beginner question but if you could help it would be good .

So living in Ireland have all the usual bnq/ woodies etc but limited in terms of specialists shops . So about to start my 1st model and looking for some advice on the glue I should get ,the kit is the model shipway bluenose 1:64 .


So as I said if there was some decent glue in one of the general diy places let me know ..


Thanks all and hope this is in the right forum .


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I think this is one of those personal - possessive opinion subjects - sort of "love me, love my....." subjects.


For wood to wood - PVA is an excellent choice. Known as carpenter's wood glue.  It comes in in several options:  white and yellow are the high inventory varieties.  I think yellow produces the stronger bond.  I want resistance to humidity so I use Titebond II.  If I was making a pond boat, I would use Titebond III.

Unlike what I did, you should probably avoid the high volume - lower unit cost option and get the 4 oz (120ml) size.  It does have excellent shelf life, but fresh is probably the wiser choice.


For metal to wood - two part epoxy - mixing time option - "you pays your money and you takes your chances".


For rigging, natural fiber,  neutral pH bookbinders PVA.


I am biased against "super glue".  I suspect that the chemical reaction that makes it fast also makes it continue going and produce  a brittle bond after a decade or two.  It is also difficult to keep from reacting in the container over time.

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Hi Dar


Jaager has pretty well covered all bases.Your best bet is to order some Titebond from Cornwall model boats.Pretty much everyone on here,myself included uses CMB for bits and bobs materials kits etc.It is worth the expense.Normal evostik type PVA from B&Q isn't quite the same.Building PVA stays rubbery when fully set,not ideal on models.Here's a link for the wood glue,Titebond is near the bottom ;)


Kind Regards



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Just to add to the advice of others, I have used PVA for the vast majority of the build.


CA is really not advised in general, but there have been many times when it has come in very useful. Thus for making very quick jigs with wood, and stiffening the ends of ropes before threading it really is useful to have a bottle of CA handy. Also, and please don't tell anyone on this forum, I have, yes I have, used CA a bit when stropping blocks. But I've sworn to give up the habit -- 'onest, guv! (It's only 'cos I's a learner, after all).


Finally fast-drying epoxy has been truly indispensable for a number of tricky jobs that require a fairly quick but very strong bond -- e.g. fastenings such as eyebolts into wood by brass eyebolts or other metal fastenings. So it's worth having a set of tubes of that handy.


Then you'll very probably come across times when you curse the fact that you've stuck something together only to find it was a mistake or you need to go back. Isopropanol is great for PVA and you can buy 250ml off eBay for very low prices. Then for CA acetone is very handy -- especially if you have some stuck to your fingers (also very cheap on eBay). Finally, I use methylated spirit for cleaning off epoxy. Of course, when using PVA I nearly always have a damp sponge cloth or toilet roll nearby to wipe away immediate smears or to clean fingers.


Considering the application of glue, I have mostly used matchsticks sharpened to a fine point to put dabs on small surfaces, and cheap paintbrushes to put diluted PVA on rigging. Some use syringes for PVA but I haven't found the need so far.



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Titebond will work for you.  There are some tricks to learn that might be useful, but you needn't bother with that now  By the way, these PVA  glues are degraded when they smells sour - of vinegar/acetic acid.  But it still may work for non-critical joints.


That said, here's what I think about when gluing stuff, although very special glues may require special consideration.  I speak here from my experience as a former research scientist in the testing of implantable devices for cardiothoracic and vascular surgery, and as a hobbyist. My knowledge is not at all definitive, but I learned some useful things over the years.

The glue to use, is the one which suits several requirements of a particular application:


First, do the parts fit together closely, and do the parts have similar rates of thermal expansion and flexibility?  Gaps between parts are weak and unsightly, and so joints between materials that are not similar in expansion and flexibility often fail.  This is probably not a problem with most static ship models, but it might become so over months and years of changes in environment.


1. Compatibility with materials.  A glue may be simply a solidifying layer that engages the surface irregularities between two materials.  Most modern wood glues do exactly that - they flow into and grip the pores and grain of the woods.  Some glues will dissolve one material, and 'reform' the surface to engage the surface irregularities of the other material (e.g. on guitars, dissolving nitrocellulose binding to engage the wooden edges on a guitar soundboard and sides).  Other glues actually dissolve the materials and 'solvent weld' them together (e.g. methylene chloride that is applied to polymethylmethacrylate (Plexiglass/Perspex)).


2,  Is the glue compatible with finishes?  Synthetic glues often resist paints and varnishes, and so the layer that joins the parts must be very small, so that the finish can 'bridge' the glue joint.  Thus, excessive squeeze-out that contaminates surfaces is not desirable.  Usually this is avoided by a judicious application of the correct amount of glue, and a quick and thorough wipe-off of the excess squeeze-out


3. Is the glue stable enough to hold the joint?    As mentioned above, 'white' PVA glues (e.g. Elmer's), and to some extent Titebond, can 'cold flow' when the joint is stressed.  For modelbuilding, I doubt that this is a problem.  But I know that Titebond is not a structural glue (e.g. for bonding timbers (here, I mean the American term for the massive wooden parts of a building, not a 4x2).


4.  Does use of the glue require safety measures when handling and applying?  Titebond and other PVA glues are quite safe, but epoxies are most certainly not.  They must be mixed in the correct proportions, and one should avoid any contact with body tissues - always wear gloves.  Epoxy components are sensitizers for allergenic responses that may occur upon the first or hundredth exposure, and then permanent sensitization occurs that may become progressively severe.  CA glue is somewhat compatible with tissues, and has a use as a surgical glue, but it breaks down upon extended exposure to moisture.  Also, the removers of CA glue (e.g. acetone) are not kind to body tissues. Silicone glues (e.g. aquarium cement) have the least reactivity in my experience, but they often generate acetic acid as a byproduct that may be irritating.  Generally, it's best practice to always avoid contact with glue, if only to prevent contamination of the mode's surfaces and your clothing.

Edited by Bob Blarney
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  • 1 year later...

Guys, I have some questions related to UHU glue. Does anybody used it on this forum? I will attache a photo of the package. Unfortunately in my hobby store they do not sell PVA glue, only this type of glue recommended for ship modelling and a type of super glue produced by Bison. My firt kit will arrive shortly, so any opinion would be great! Should I use the UHU or should I search for a carpenter`s glue in a store specialized in construction assets?




Edited by Oliver24
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Go for the wood glue. It has some working time to allow you to reposition parts. Super glues set up quick, so you have to have parts set where they need to be. I presume you don't have a home products type store with things for do it yourself kinds of projects near your home?

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  • 1 year later...

Hi, I have been wooden ship modelling on and off for about 40 yrs. Also have been building RC model airplanes for about 15 yrs. The planes are built almost exclusively with medium viscosity CA glue, except for areas that require very high strength, such as engine mounting firewalls and wing main spars where I use 30 min epoxy.  I have read some posts that suggest CA glues can crystalize with age, but I still fly model planes that I built 12 or 13 yrs ago with no failures. Keep in mind that  model aircraft with internal combustion engines experience significant vibration.

For ship modelling I have used a white glue called Weldbond and medium CA glue. I like Weldbond for the following reasons

- it dries to a crystal clear finish

- it is extremely strong ( perhaps doesn't have the brute strength of epoxy but comes close)

- doesn't dry to a hard brittle finish like carpenters glue, but retains some flexibility. Sort of similar to one of those plastic/nylon kitchen cutting boards.

- due to this somewhat flexible dried condition it functions very well as a gap filler. Carpenters glue requires the joined pieces to mate almost perfectly or the joint strength is severely compromised.

My process for hull planking is to coat the plank edge with Weldbond, place a small drop of medium CA glue on each bulkhead and manually hold the plank against the bulkheads and the installed plank above for about 10 seconds until the CA cures. I don't need to use pins, nails or clamps and the planking process proceeds much faster since after the CA  has cured (about 10 seconds) I am ready to install the next plank. I have used this  method on  my last two ships (previous models used the pin technique) and have had no issues. 

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Selecting glue is such a personal opinion, as what I use would not suit another builder.  I guess it depends on how you want to actually do your build and how long you want to take doing it.  Personally I only use aliphatic resin as it suits my needs but does take a while to dry.  That means that I need to plan how I clamp my joints and it takes longer to do rather than using CA.  For me building is a pleasure and not a rush but other builders need to be quicker.  My way is not superior to the others its just my way and you need to experiment to find the glue that suits you building style.

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